VPA D-II field hockey: Mount Abraham corners Canes

  • Hartford’s Caroline Hamilton, right, tangles with Mt. Abraham’s Abby Reen in the Div. II high school field hockey championships in Burlington on Saturday, November 6, 2021. Photo by Glenn Russell Glenn Russell photograph

  • Hartford players leave the field after losing to Mt. Abraham in the Div. II high school field hockey championships in Burlington on Saturday, November 6, 2021. Photo by Glenn Russell Glenn Russell photograph—Glenn Russell

  • Hartford’s Nedra Dwinell controls the ball against Mt. Abraham in the Div. II high school field hockey championships in Burlington on Saturday, November 6, 2021. Photo by Glenn Russell Glenn Russell photograph—Glenn Russell

  • Hartford’s Maddi Wiley fires a shot against Mt. Abraham’s Payton Vincent in the Div. II high school field hockey championships in Burlington on Saturday, November 6, 2021. Photo by Glenn Russell Glenn Russell photograph

  • Hartford’s Caroline Hamilton holds her head as Mt. Abraham players receive their medals after winning the Div. II high school field hockey championships in Burlington on Saturday, November 6, 2021. Photo by Glenn Russell Glenn Russell photograph—Glenn Russell

  • Mt. Abraham’s Ava Konczal celebrates the Eagles' win over Hartford in the Div. II high school field hockey championships in Burlington on Saturday, November 6, 2021. Photo by Glenn Russell Glenn Russell photograph—Glenn Russell

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/6/2021 10:14:43 PM
Modified: 11/6/2021 10:14:43 PM

BURLINGTON — Not even Hartford High’s best effort could stop the mighty Mount Abraham dynasty.

The No. 2 seed Hurricanes weathered an early storm and found an equalizing goal shortly before halftime. But the top-seeded Eagles pulled ahead early in the fourth quarter and kept the pressure on from there, winning their fourth consecutive VPA Division II championship with a 2-1 victory at UVM’s Moulton Winder Field.

“This is a great bunch of kids,” Hartford coach Heather Scudder said. “I really believed we were going to win this one. I thought we were playing well enough that we had control of the game, and then there were stretches where Mount Abraham took control and we broke down. They made the most of their opportunities.”

Mount Abraham controlled most of the possession in the opening quarter, earning a penalty corner in the first minute of the game. The Hurricanes (13-4-0) had a corner of their own early in the second, but it was the Eagles (15-1-1) who scored first with about five minutes left before the half. Abby Reen put home the opening goal, with Molly Laurent contributing the assist.

Hartford didn’t trail for long, however. The Hurricanes ran a well-designed play on a corner, and their two captains combined on the game-tying goal. Senior Chloe Jensen found fellow senior Caroline Hamilton, who fired one past the goalkeeper to even the score with two minutes to go in the half.

“Corners are supposed to score. It’s seven-on-four,” Scudder said. “That’s why you would hear me scream, ‘Go for a corner!’ Your opportunity to score is higher. We have an outstanding offensive unit.”

But that offense did not have many chances to showcase its skills in the second half.

After a mostly uneventful third quarter, Mount Abraham retook the lead in the second minute of the fourth. Madison Gile put an unassisted goal past Hartford freshman goalkeeper Paige Vielleux to force the Hurricanes to play from behind once again.

Hartford struggled to get the ball to their offensive end, however, because the Eagles kept earning penalty corners. They had four in a row at one point and earned 14 in the game to Hartford’s five.

“I don’t know what the calls were down there,” Scudder said.

“I’m 50 yards away. I’m not saying they were bad calls; I’m just saying I don’t know what they were calling.”

The Hurricanes finally made an offensive push in the last five minutes and earned a corner with around two minutes to play, but the initial pass went right through the line of attackers and Mount Abraham quickly cleared the ball away. Hartford had a couple more looks at the net as time wound down, but to no avail.

It’s the end of the line for the Hurricanes’ six seniors: Jensen, Hamilton, Grace Gardner, Brianna Roberts, Elsie Davis and Kaedence Brower. The senior class helped Hartford reach its first state title game since 2013, but the Hurricanes will have to wait at least another year for their first championship since 2009.

“They led from day one,” Scudder said. “They wanted it. Maybe some wanted it too much. Some didn’t play their best game. But the nerves in the finals are always a factor.

“They are outstanding people, and they are going to do wonderful things in life.”

Benjamin Rosenberg can be reached at brosenberg@vnews.com or 603-727-3302.




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